Posts filed under ‘men of substance’
Strength to continue…… No! the mothers, who mourn their child, don’t really continue or for that matter to “move on”- they pull and drag themselves through each day and into the next- fragmented and yet never becoming “whole” again. We have crutches , we have game faces, we have tricks to stay the course of continuing. The grief can numb you and yet rip you to pieces in an instant. The cohesiveness of you, my son, is no longer there the hold my heart and soul together.
I dread these days of memory:
and yet I relive those last days of your life over and over and over again daily. So why the dread of facing another December 3rd? December 3rd is just another day where I am holding my breath , trying to hold back the rush of tears, fighting to stay upright and the longing for this to be a nightmare from which I will wake.
The very nature of its coming- December 3rd brings with it such an intensity of emotions that I know will cause me to flood my pillow with tears and tear at the fabric of stillness that is night with my sobbing. The dull chronic pain I live with everyday becomes a shrieking, stabbing coldness of spirit permeating every thought, every fiber of my being. I am lost to comfort.
Recently, I was asked to participate in a “grief project” for an Arizona university. The project, as I understand it, will be presented this week. Basically the gist was how grieving parents memorialize their “lost” children .
The last question asked as I filled out the projects questions is as follows:
Please use the space below to share any other important information about your child………
Our lives changed so much the day my son died. Every moment from the time of diagnosis to his death is as fresh in our minds as if it were yesterday. There is a sort of parallel world we walk in the present – we are physically here but at the same time elsewhere in a world of horror and hope- the obscenity that is cancer will do that to you.
Watching your son lose his grip on life day after day week after week, the tests and finally helplessly watching him slip away hooked up to machines being unable to fulfill the promises parents make.
The guilt of surviving, the questioning of WHY, the deals you did in your head and out loud to a “being or entity” that ignored – realizing you are alone – for all the platitudes foisted upon you ” the God’s plan” the better place .. The people who do not have the words to comfort- how could they – trot out inane phrases – you know they mean well but they just add to the anger, because there is anger .
You don’t move on, at least we don’t, we continue , we love our daughter, son in law and grandchildren – they give us laughter and strength but always lingering on the peripheral of life is the “missing of memories that should have been” . There will never be total happiness in our lives – there can’t be. Maybe it would have been easier with the crutch of an organized religion to support one- I don’t know- it is Chris that comforts – his smile – his
his humor his thoughts as they are expressed in the works he left with us…………
Childhood living is easy to do
The things you wanted I bought them for you
Graceless lady you know who I am
You know I can’t let you slide through my hands
Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
Wild, wild horses, couldn’t drag me away
I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or offstage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind
Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
Wild horses couldn’t drag me away
Wild horses we will ride them someday
Wild horses, wild horses
Amazingly, ( considering what it takes in this day and age to get anything done) two years later the business district was back and as mentioned in part two so was the surrounding neighborhood.
Yes! that would be the pride of Broadway ( The Broadway Building) being built- I wonder what they would say to its worth today- a man-made tornado of destruction that is known as “NEGLECT”
Miss Harriet Root- 3535 E. Erie Avenue
More on the Root Story here
front porch sipping wine with other neighbors over 2 decades ago, there in lies the tale of the start of Charleston Village Society Inc - some woozy neighbors sampling the grape . We had a lot to learn those first months about the “history of Lorain” – Charleston Village. Two thirds of the group were transplants from other far away communities- a bit like the original settlers when you think of it!
However, we did hear from someone- I can’t remember whom ( wine has that effect) the Lilac was the flower of the city and there were festivals, songs and queens. We heard the stories of how after a devastating tornado Lorraine , France sent over Lilac bushes to beautify this devastated city – sounded reasonable and so we carried on perpetuating the “myth”.
In the past few weeks Charleston Village Society Inc. Outreach and Promotions committee took on the task of decorating one of the trees for the 2nd Annual International Trees and Model Train Display at Black River Landing as part of the Light Up Lorain Festivities .
We chose to decorate the tree with Lilacs and history. As we were decorating the tree, other participants asked Why Lilacs? and we realized we really didn’t know the whole story of how the Lilacs of Lorain came and “went”.
Thanks to Dan Brady of http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/ who was absolutely brilliant in his detective work with so much documentation from 1930 through 1939 we have at last separated myth from fact.
The story of the Lilacs of Lorain is one of coincidence , civic pride, leadership and the fact, no matter the decade, we tend to reinvent the wheel. Part Two will put paid to the myth of Lorain/ Lorraine but let us just go back in time to a time of devastation by Mother Nature.
This community had very little left to her after that dark day in 1924. You have to hand it to those citizens at the time, who in just a few short years, managed to bring back a community. They obviously took it upon themselves to get stuck in with apparently no federal help to rebuild.
My own house sits on a lot that had the previous structure destroyed and yet just TWO years later ( 1926) this was the result- a Mock English Tudor and a Mock Cape Cod were built over the cleared rubble of destruction – a mother and daughter occupied the now “split lot”.
Is it any wonder after the effort of rebuilding a city from the muck and mire there was just 6 years after the tornado a call for beautification….. to be continued
Tuesday the 1st of October, found your sister , nephews and I at Black River Landing for the “falling of the electrical towers”. Gavin loves construction and de construction I am sure he dreams of “diggers, excavators, dump trucks and all things “hard hat”.
Since the officials were having a press conference and a 4 year old and a 20 month olds patience can wear thin, we excused ourselves started to walk down to the site of the falling tower to be -
Coverage can be found here
Gavin and his dad are looking to build a shed ,for all the boys ( vehicles) their Chris- Miss presents
Once again you were there and the flash back to the day you painted the signage on that little shed for what was then Mainstreet Lorain- ( Lorain Growth Corporation). I could see you as if you were standing there once again.
The shed and the welcome sign has graced many a festival, stored many an object, had any number of photos taken as found on searching for “Lorain”
As Nikki explained to Gavin and Braedyn this too, was one of Uncle Chris’s signs just like the street signs in Nog’s neighborhood of Charleston Village .
Another month – so many memories – and as the tower came down – a hat tip to the future a bridge between the past and future was captured once again in the lens of the camera …..
Please note I couldn’t find the source for the photos taken from the internet – but one ( Art Light- the winter photo) Mark Teleha
OPENING NIGHT – FRIDAY SEPT 6TH- 2013-6 pm
As regular readers are aware, last week I was contacted by Cleveland Institute of Art offering the opportunity to display some of my son Chris’s work. They will also realize that I faced somewhat of a dilemma as to whether or not to “display” what Chris termed as “homework” from his college courses in and amongst notable pieces of work by those who had continued after CIA in their professional capacity.
CLICK ON PHOTOS TO ENLARGE
Nikki, my daughter and I decided to also include his portfolio of “advertising- design ” pieces including the last piece he designed for me for the dedication of Settlers’ Watch and commemorating a young man who lost his young life in service of his county- Eric Barnes .
I can honestly say it has been a very emotional week for my daughter and I as we once again looked through all of Chris’s works – trying to give some order to the display. Last evening was the pre show- I gulped my breath- swallowed back the tears trying not to become
an emotional puddle flanked by my husband and daughter.
Many thanks to the Chronicle Telegram and Howard Gollop-( ACCENT EDITOR) for the coverage in today’s ACCENT Section. We are hoping the coverage and the display will draw attention to the yearly scholarships in Christopher’s name to both Cleveland Institute of Art and Lorain County Community College
To donate to either college scholarship please contact
Michael Kinsella – Director of Annual Giving – Alumni Relations
Voice: 216.421.7412 – Fax: 216.754.3633 – email@example.com
Cleveland Institute of Art | 11141 East Boulevard, Cleveland, OH 44106
LORAIN COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Debra L. Richter
Alumni and Scholarship Coordinator
Lorain County Community College Foundation
1005 N. Abbe Road
Elyria, OH 44035
440.366.7758 – Office
440.366.4078 – Fax
Texas and another September 3rd comes to mind today-
- one that we thought might bring you a cure- not to be– the cures can also kill-
and your body could not ( I found out later )take the amount of “curing” -
not a swine related flu but Acute Pulmonary Toxicity .
As I looked once again through all your work trying to decide what you would want to put into the art show later this week – I was besieged by a thousand knives of my reality cutting ,slashing and ripping into what little strength I have with murderous intent — my brain flooded with so many memories – my heart mangled and wanting to stop beating – I couldn’t breathe, and then……..
your ability to make me smile -just a silly little cartoon in amongst all the creativity , projects and seriousness –
I think of you as the fan above this desk continues to turn- I couldn’t reach the pull- after asking your dad so many times to get and extension to the chain -you took some wire and in just a couple of minutes made me one-
Hey mum you should know by now how to make men dance to your tune
It was weeks before I noticed my dancing man was anatomically correct— and I still smile every time I have to pull his leg to turn on the fan.
So yesterday I breathed once more looked through all the, work, photos and files and once again you spoke……… and thanks to you – a smile played once more on my lips as tears fell …….
The days, the weeks, the months go by- my emotional state ebbs and flows sometimes softly and sometimes raging torrents crash upon me. I manage to gear myself for meetings and known triggers. I try avoid the ones I know will reduce me to emotional incontinence. Those times, when I can’t function with the loss of you , when I have no control -see me turned inside out.
I manage to get through the scheduled meetings like a fighter in training I focus on the event, knowing the cost of control will cause a meltdown of me when I finally let go of the damming process.
This past couple of weeks has found the need of people coming together to once again to try to take back a quality of life in this old neighborhood, your old neighborhood. I managed to attend, I purposely geared my mind not think of you, for to have done so would have seen me once again a puddle.
Block Watches even “those” trigger – once again you were there . I opened the flyer sent by the Lorain Neighborhood Watch Council announcing a meeting and yes on the letter head was the logo you designed. I stopped breathing for just a second, I hadn’t expected it you see, although I should have . I was pleased that your work was still being utilized by this place you called home and I am grateful they still think your work worthy.
I remember so vividly your response when you came home that weekend from Cleveland Institute of Art. -
Chris the Police Chief is wanting to form a Block Watch Council of all the block watches and they need a logo- will do “some” for me? -
” Mum am I ever going to get paid for any of these things you have me do?”
No! put it down to community service
“If I was a mechanic would you have me fixing cars for free ?”
Yes! of course if you were a “good” mechanic!
You came up with 4 or 5 logos – a couple I could tell, were a bit hard-hitting and controversial and you said:
don’t worry they won’t choose those – they will choose the generic one
and they did .
As I opened the flyer announcing the latest BW meeting for this old neighborhood how I wished I could call you and say :
Chris I need ……
But instead the one thing I need is you and you are denied me ……………
It was a beautiful cool and sunny morning today as we walked our neighborhood placing flags and ribbons to honor those who have given so much in so many conflicts. We placed the “RED WHITE and BLUE ribbons and I thought not only of the history of the colors but of those that have walked these streets in the decades before in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood . I thought of those that had given all they could give in the name of freedom.
The history of the red white and blue:
The Continental Congress left no record to show why it chose the colors. However, in 1782, the Congress of the Confederation chose these same colors for the Great Seal of the United States and listed their meaning as follows: white to mean purity and innocence, red for valor and hardiness, and blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. According to legend, George Washington interpreted the elements of the flag this way: the stars were taken from the sky, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified the secession from the home country. However, there is no official designation or meaning for the colors of the flag.
The official meaning of those chosen colors may have been lost in time but they are the colors of freedom and many lives have been cut short so the colors of freedom can fly proudly in our neighborhoods.
Marine Lance Corporal Joseph “Ryan” Giese
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep…….,
Your special place beckons warmth, light and beauty to come once again. The land is sleeping, the trees just stirring, their broken branches have fallen to the earth in the winter winds, dried leaves, so vibrantly green in all their summer hues, now fallen, brown, crumbling , spent, giving back to replenish the earth for another season.
Yet there is life, amongst the sleeping woods, heralding the life which will soon come back to this special place that you so loved. The planting of this early spring life was not part of the natural order of things, anymore more than a parent outliving their child is supposed to be part of the natural order .
The spring bulbs planted in remembrance of you once again push through the bracken , their blossoms yellow with sunshine and green with life reaching up to the warming sun. A reminder we live and remember you and the daffodils nod in agreement they too, will enjoy their brief time in the sunshine but will fade all too quickly.
Since you were taken from us we have been left with despair, doubt, anger, a loss of wonder , hope but with a love for you that continues. Chris, you have also left me with an understanding of a strength, I marveled at you through those awful months , your will to survive, the love you had for your family , how you tried to protect us from your pain and anguish.
I am not as strong as I once thought I was , but you have given me an immunity of sorts.
I have bottomed out in my life, I have no fear of death , I have no fear for myself of terminal disease. I too am spent past worrying about “me”. I live with the most untenable pain every moment of these days but there is a strange sort freedom in this world I now live
I no longer have to tolerate people or situations I don’t want in my life . I can choose now the people I welcome and want in my life , those that give not those that take. I no longer have to tolerate , even for politeness sake , I am not beholden to anyone or anything thing. I can speak my truths without fear of offence or retribution for they can never cause me the depth of pain I live with every day.